Previously On Comics: News Flash—Kids like Comics. And Manga.

Hello again! It’s once again time for WWAC’s weekly news round up of everything you might have missed last week.

NYCC was the week before, so there’s still some post-con news to catch up on.

ICv2 (Internal Correspondence version 2) hosted some kind of event called “The Future of Comics in the Age of Streaming,” (which sounds a little bit like they mean the Blue Age of Comics, but there was already a panel called that at NYCC), and Heidi from The Beat not only livetweeted it but wrote up a comprehensive summary, which is worth checking out, but mostly I’m just here to point out that the writeup by Forbes titled “Surprising New Data Shows Comic Readers Are Leaving Superheroes Behind” is proof that when different audiences look at the same data they can come to shockingly different conclusions.

What the data shows is that the data being collected is, for once, encompassing all comics readers and not just those in the direct market. It also shows that what is being defined as comics is, shockingly, actually most everything that is a comic and not just comics sold on the direct market, or even in trade paperbacks, but things like, gosh, manga, and even more shockingly, kids comics. When comics are a medium and not a genre, when comics aren’t just superheroes, then, shockingly, people read something other than superheroes.

To quote Heidi:

That nearly 10% drop in superheroes is notable if you have an industry built entirely around the needs and output of the publishers who put out superheroes—which is really only Marvel and DC at this point.

Bookscan’s presentation showed that kids comics and manga are the two biggest selling categories of comics, which only shocks people who live in the direct market. The manga data is interesting for me, as a person who remembers the days of underground networks where fansubbed VHS tapes were circulated and scanlations were individual pages edited in Photoshop. The conclusion that most people have come to is that there’s more interest in manga thanks to more streaming anime, but my takeaway is what we’ve always said–if you give people a way to purchase what they want easily, they will buy it.

So, here’s a few other headlines from this week:

TCAF Founder Christopher Butcher was knighted last week when he was presented with the Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by French Minister of Culture Franck Riester.
Mariko Tamaki won the 2019 Harvey Award for Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up With Me.
The Disabled Cartoonist Database is now open, joining the Queer Cartoonist Database and Cartoonists of Color.
Jamie McKelvie announced his new series now that WicDiv has officially ended and it sounds awesome.

And I’m out! See ya’ll next month.

Kate Tanski

Kate Tanski

Recovering academic. Fangirl. Geek knitter.